Mind your conduct - Zuma

2009-05-20 19:05

Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma read a stern lecture to his new council of ministers and their deputies at the first Cabinet meeting they have attended on Wednesday.

First of all he welcomed all members, and paid tribute to the previous Cabinet for the work of its term of office. He also, according to Cabinet spokesperson Themba Maseko, took the opportunity of welcoming all the new members.

"He urged members to take their responsibility seriously by working hard and to conduct themselves in a manner befitting their office," Maseko said.

He was anxious to point out to them, Maseko added, that now that they are ministers everything they say in public will be taken to represent the government, and they should be careful about what they do say.

He said it was not so much about their behaviour as the things they tell people.

The subject of Transport Minister S'bu Ndebele's present of a million rand Mercedes-Benz was discussed by ministers, who felt that he did the right thing in giving the car back, and an even better thing in suggesting it be sold to help pay for training emerging contractors.

Ministers also suggested that though Ndebele had acted within the confines of the law and regulations, the executive handbook should be re-examined to make sure that such eventualities are clearly covered.

Maseko said that with a new government and lots of new ministers, there are bound to be a number of gifts being offered.